Ka Leody de Guzman
By June Doronio
October 27, 2021
LAPU-LAPU CITY, Cebu – In his bid to ease the plight of the transport workers, socialist labor leader and Partido Lakas ng Masa (PLM) standard-bearer Leody De Guzman on Tuesday said the government should “control” the oil industry to cushion the effects of the successive hikes in fuel prices.
At the same time, De Guzman said the planned P1 billion cash grants for public utility vehicle (PUV) drivers are not enough as he noted that there are more than a million transport workers belonging to the bus, UV, and tricycle transportation sub-sectors.
“This, however, does not excite us as those that are reeling from the effects of high oil prices go beyond the target 178K PUJ [public utility jeepney] drivers of this latest initiative,” the PLM presidential bet said in a statement.
De Guzman stressed that the government must “intervene and effectively control the industry, even temporarily,”
He expressed apprehension that oil price hikes may continue until 2022 and “the one-time subsidy will not be sufficient to mitigate, much more compensate, for lost earnings.”
“Even the suspension of the excise tax or VAT may not be sufficient especially if we consider its effects to much-needed revenues for our COVID response,” De Guzman said.
The PLM standard-bearer has proposed the promotion of renewable energy sources like solar power and using electric vehicles would help reduce dependence on foreign fuel sources.
Team Abtik in this highly urbanized city expressed support for De Guzman’s proposal.
It can be observed that prices of petroleum products have increased for the last eight (8) weeks, with another hike set for the last week of October.
De Guzman and several lawmakers as well as transport groups have asked the government to suspend the excise taxes on fuel. (ai/mtvn)